4 SCANDALOUS Celebrities to Give Commencement Speeches at US Universities

4 years ago



Lindsay Lohan played it well with her April Fool’s Day joke. On April 1, the actress posted a video claiming she had been invited to deliver a commencement speech at Harvard Law School. In response to Lindsay’s claim, the Harvard rep told: “There is no factual basis for that claim.” The scandalous celebrity also used her Instagram stories to claim she had been invited to give speeches at Cambridge and Oxford as well. Later on, Ms. Lohan admitted it was not true and it was all a joke.

Lindsay Lohan is not the only scandalous celebrity to deliver a university commencement speech. Previously, there have been a few other scandalous celebs to share their life experience with the students. Let’s recall the most controversial celebrity speakers to deliver commencement speeches.

Lady Gaga


Despite her shocking stage outfits, Lady Gaga is a well-known advocate for student rights. In 2015, she was invited to give a commencement speech in Yale. Lady Gaga openly spoke about her drug addiction, the pressure of fame. The celebrity singer talked about her personal doubts and her way to regaining happiness. The most important message delivered by Gaga was: saying the word "no" made her a happier person. 

Jon Bon Jovi


In 2017, Jon Bon Jovi surprised the students of Fairleigh Dickinson University with his commencement speech. The 80’s rocker admitted having been in the dark place in his life for over three years. Jon’s wife of 27 years Deborah helped him out of a nervous breakdown. In his speech, the legendary rocker said: "Don't take anything personally. Accept both praise and criticism equally, but take neither to heart. There are many surprises awaiting you on the journey."

Sean "Diddy" Combs


Seems unbelievable, but in 2014, the scandalous rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs not only delivered a commencement speech at Howard University but actually received an honorary degree! Tangled in a sexual harassment scandal, Combs was definitely not the best choice for the speech delivery. He said: “Nobody is going to invite you to the front of the line, you got to push your way to the front of the line.”  Combs is a former business major at Howard dropped out after two years in 1990.

Ellen Degeneres


American comedian and television show host Ellen DeGeneres delivered her commencement speech at Tulane University twice - in 2006 and 2009. Ellen is openly gay and supportive of the LGBTQ community. In her groundbreaking 2009 speech, Ellen jokingly defined the meaning of the word "commencement," saying it’s made of "common" and "cement" and expresses deep love for her hometown of New Orleans.

Chadwick Boseman


Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman gave an EXTREMELY inspiring commencement speech to the Howard University graduates. Being one of the famous Howard's graduates, Boseman (a Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2000) encouraged this year's graduates to use their education for the sake of making this world a better place. In his speech, the famous actor commended the students for their on-campus activism. Chadwick Boseman revealed he had his own experience protesting against the university while studying at Howard. 

According to Mashable, earlier this year, the Howard students stepped forth with the demends about housing for younger students, disarming on-campus police officers, taking action on sexual assault, and limiting the price hikes on tuition. Boseman also revealed he had been fighting against racism while shooting in his first TV show, in which he played the role of a "young, black man with a violent streak, pulled into the world of gangs." He was eventually fired by the show's executives after raising his concerns about racial stereotypes that dominated the show. At the end of his speech, Boseman gave a Wakanda salute to students, saying "Howard forever" instead.


recommended for you

Any questions or propositions?